On last week's episode of this ABC show, the supernanny was working with a San Francisco area family of 4 children who were all over scheduled and their behavior definitely showed it. The eldest boy, 9 years old, had 9 after school activities including Chinese school, English language arts tutoring, soccer, golf, scouts, piano, drums and the younger siblings were just as busy. The mother prepared meals in containers for the kids to eat in the car and the trunk had multiple backpacks for each kid and their numerous activities.
The supernanny's first order of busines was to reduce the number of activities drastically which was hard because the parents had different priorities to their kids. They also felt that they were doing the very best for their kids by giving them so many activities.
As far as I know, this was not a Palo Alto family but could easily have been so. Looking at my kids' friends, it is often difficult to arrange a playdate or a birthday party because everyone is so busy.
What would be a realistic number of activities and does it make a difference whether they are academic, energetic, religious or creative?